Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #193
Expanding the Field of Behavior Analysis to Address Human Sexuality: (STEP SIG) Symposium
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
215 (CC)
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Discussant: Bobby Newman (Room to Grow)
Abstract: Applied behavior analysis has much to offer in the arenas of human sexual behavior, sexual identity, and sex education. While much of the existing research on sexuality relies on indirect measurement, applied behavior analysis offers empirical, data-based methods for studying sexual behavior as a phenomenon in its own right, increasing appropriate sexual behaviors when warranted, and verifying the efficacy of sex education and sex therapy techniques. This symposium will explore multiple topics within this area, including single-subject data on the frequency of adult sexual behavior and its relationship to the use of erotic materials, and the utility of the Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP) computer task as a predictor of socially discriminatory behavior toward individuals of different sexual identities.
Use of erotic stimuli and its relation to orgasm frequency and intimate relationship satisfaction
ANN M STURTZ (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Fawna Stockwell (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: Existing research on adult orgasm frequency is sparse and often employs rating scales such as ‘never,’ ‘occasionally,’ or ‘very often,’ making concrete estimates of daily human orgasm frequencies difficult. In addition, some research suggests that the use of erotic material (written stories, video clips, pictures, etc.) is correlated with undesirable outcomes, such as increases in aggressive sexual behavior and negative attitudes toward women. However, replications of these studies do not consistently support the original findings (Ferguson & Hartley, 2009). In the current study, participants were asked to self-record their use of erotic material and orgasms on a daily basis, and subsequently complete a questionnaire on relationship satisfaction, gender-related attitudes, and attitudes toward erotic materials. Results will include information on the frequency and type of erotic materials used by adult participants as it relates to orgasm frequencies, as well as any potential impact on participants’ intimate relationships. The relationship between daily orgasm frequency and various environmental factors (e.g., illness, job loss, vacations, relationship changes) will also be examined.
The Implicit Relational Assessment Procedure (IRAP): Sexual Attitudes and Their Relation to Interviewer Behaviors
FAWNA STOCKWELL (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Maria Genevive Dominguez Nolasco (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Lauren Hopkins (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Diana J. Walker (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
Abstract: A previous IRAP study examining attitudes toward mainstream and BDSM (Bondage, Discipline, Sadism, and Masochism) sexual terms suggests that both implicit and explicit attitudes correlate positively with participant’s self-reported diversity of sexual practices (e.g., participants who display favorable attitudes toward both mainstream and BDSM terms tend to report experience in a high number of sexual practices, whereas participants who display unfavorable attitudes toward BDSM terms tend to report experience in a lower number of sexual practices). The purpose of the current study is to determine whether attitudes measured by the IRAP task and by questionnaire could sufficiently predict differences in the behavior of participants as they interview two trained confederates: one labeled “heterosexual,” and the second labeled “heterosexual, lives a BDSM lifestyle.” Results will indicate the value of the IRAP as a predictor of positive and negative behaviors toward mainstream or BDSM-identified individuals, including smiling, laughing, positive comments, and negative comments. Implications for therapists working with BDSM-identified clients will be discussed.
An Examination of Various Sexual Education Certifications
BOBBY NEWMAN (Room to Grow)
Abstract: Who is and is not certified to provide sex therapy and sex eduction is a murky area. There are different certifying agencies, and professionals who are otherwise licensed as mental health providers are de facto considered qualified to sex therapy and education services. In this talk, we will compare some of the certifications and consider their behavioral and non-behavioral components in an effort to establish the best path for those dedicated to a science of behavior to follow.



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